Echo on Dollhouse [Female Protagonists on SF TV]

I really enjoyed Dollhouse even if it was a bit uneven and was sad to see it go. Echo played by the beautiful and talented Eliza Dushku was the main protagonist in Dollhouse. One of the problems with writing an article involving such a fandom icon as Eliza is that you can easily spend more time browsing and selecting pictures than writing. The show was also created by iconic writer-director Joss Whedon (Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog) which doesn’t make it easier.

When we first meet Echo she is a ‘doll’ or as they say in the Dollhouse an ‘active’ as opposed to the passive state all the dolls are put in when they aren’t on missions. In either case she has no memories of her former life (at least not to so begin with) or the previous missions she has been on. But as season one develops she starts to remember previous missions. First it is only manners and short quotes but later it is even skills and whole careers and as she is sent on rather qualified missions she becomes quite formidable as the show continues.

The Dollhouse is a secret organization which on the surface hires out reprogrammed humans to wealthy clients for whatever use they have for them, such as escorts, fake girlfriends, hostage negotiators, mercenaries, cat burglars and other high risk endeavors. But the show unfolds that they have bigger plans than that. But their goals can have devastating repercussions on humanity as shown in the first season’s bonus episode Epitaph and in the series finale Epitaph 2.

The Actives serve for a five year period while their original memories are stored on hard drives in exchange for a vast amount of money and a solution to any other pressing problem they might have. Echo, however, is unique in remembering small amounts even after personality “wipes”, and gradually develops an increasingly cognizant self-awareness and personality. This emerging personality is even distinct in some ways from that of her original identity, college graduate Caroline Farrell.

I loved when Echo or one of the others actives took on a kick-ass personality. It do get a bit cheesy at times. Some of the roles were really memorable like when Echo where programmed with her boss’ dead friend’s personality;

or when she was a hostage negotiator;

that episode when she was this athletic tom-boy on a hike with her competitive boyfriend/client and it turned out he wanted to hunt her;

The dominatrix outfit was fine but I don’t think they made an episode on that;

When she is a backup singer is also a good episode.

The whole story line with Alpha the crazy ‘boyfriend’ was twisted but entertaining.

The other ‘boyfriend’ story with Paul was all over the place but was kind of compelling. What killed the series was in my opinion the lack of a clear path; this probably had something to do with too many chefs. The future world after the Dollhouse tried to take over was worth a series in itself.

Name: Echo
Portrayed by: Eliza Dushku
Show: Dollhouse
Original channel:  Fox
Original run: 2009-2010
Status: Cancelled after 2 seasons

Eliza Dushku

I enjoyed Eliza Dushku in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and in Tru Calling.

Eliza was born in Watertown, Massachusetts, to an Albanian father and Danish mother, and raised in the LDS Church (though she is not actively practicing). She has three brothers, Aaron, Ben, and Nate, the latter of who is also an actor. Dushku lives in the Los Angeles area.

I did not know she played the teenage daughter of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies.

After completing high school, Eliza returned to acting with the role of Faith, a Slayer much more troubled than the main character Buffy. Though initially planned as a five episode role, the character became so popular that she stayed on for the entirety of the third season. She has also made guest appearances in Buffy’s spin-off, Angel.

In 2003 she also starred in a new Fox TV series, Tru Calling, where she played the main character, Tru Davies, a medical student whose grant is pulled out from under her, forcing her to take a job at a local morgue. There, she discovers that she has the power to “re-live” the previous day over again, an ability she used to right wrongful deaths. She also attempts to help her troubled family – a drug-addicted sister and a gambling-addicted brother.

Related Posts

Other posts on Female Protagonists on SciFi TV

  1. Olivia Dunham in Fringe
  2. Max Guevara (X5-452) in Dark Angel
  3. Erica Evans on V
  4. Molly Anne Caffrey on Threshold
  5. Wendy ‘Dub-Dub’ Watson on The Middleman
  6. Jane Vasco on Painkiller Jane
  7. Æon Flux on Æon Flux
  8. Dana Scully on The X-Files
  9. Myka Bering on Warehouse 13
  10. Dr. Helena Magnus on Sanctuary
  11. Sarah on Chuck
  12. Echo on Dollhouse
  13. Amy Pond on Doctor Who
  1. Pictures after the break

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